TORONTO, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ - The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has
awarded Rawle Maynard $40,000 after the Toronto man was found to have
been racially profiled by a Toronto Police Service officer. Mr.
Maynard, who is Black, was driving home from his office in November
2005, when he was followed by an officer in a police car. The police
officer had received a report of an incident involving a Black man with
a gun, at the Malvern Town Centre. Mr. Maynard was later put, at
gunpoint, in the back of a police car. Shortly thereafter, new
information was received over the radio that indicated he was not a
The Ontario Human Rights Commission handled the original complaint and
continued to be a party at the Tribunal. The African Canadian Legal
Clinic represented the complainant. At the Tribunal, the OHRC sought
both individual and public interest remedies including bringing the
Tribunal's decision, and the circumstances of this complaint, to the
attention of the Toronto Police Service's Charter project work to
consider related policy changes.
In her decision, Human Rights Tribunal Vice-Chair Leslie Reaume said
that Mr. Maynard had been "stereotyped as a person with some
probability of being involved in a gun-related incident" because he was
a young Black man:
I do not believe that if the suspect had been a Caucasian man in the
same circumstance, with no other defining characteristics, particularly
age…[that the officer]… would have chosen to investigate the first
Caucasian man he saw driving the same car at the same intersection. It
is consistent with a finding of racial profiling that all black men, or
all black men of a certain age, driving along in the area in a black
car were possible suspects at the moment that Officer Baker decided to
commence his investigation of Mr. Maynard.
OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall was pleased with the decision.
"This ruling recognizes the real and devastating impacts of racial
profiling on a person. Racial discrimination and profiling continue to
be huge barriers, especially for young Black men," Ms. Hall says.
"Times have changed since 2005; the Toronto Police Services have
acknowledged that racial profiling must be dealt with. We have worked
closely with the TPS and the Toronto Police Services Board on a Charter
project to eliminate discrimination in services. But that work is not
Last year, the OHRC released "Human Rights in Policing" a manual on
organizational change for police services and boards. The OHRC is
currently working with the Windsor Police Service on a similar Charter
project. As a result of a recent settlement, it is also assisting the
Ottawa Police Service to use data collection as a way to help provide
bias-free police services.
"Preventing racial profiling and anti-Black racism continues to be a
priority for the OHRC," says Ms. Hall. "The Tribunal's decision in
Maynard highlights the need for greater awareness and more vigilance in
these critical areas."
Also available in French
SOURCE Ontario Human Rights Commission
For further information:
Senior Communications Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission